Ask Amy: Missing cat takes its toll on a friendship

Dear Amy: My friend’s cat has been missing for two weeks.

I have been supportive in helping her try to find the cat. I also feel her pain.

I have always had cats, but since losing a cat 30 years ago, I have always kept my cats indoors.

My friend lives in a canyon with lots of wildlife, including coyotes, mountain lions, owls, and other predators. (She had another cat that had to have its leg amputated because it was caught in a rabbit snare.)

Her remaining cat is still allowed outside. These are small 2-year-old cats!

I’m having a hard time with this. I know it’s her cat, but I can’t stand the thought of another one going missing due to this thoughtless behavior.

I’m feeling very judgmental/angry, and may not want to stay friends with her.

I can’t decide if I should sit by and not judge, or should I bail on the friendship?

– Cat Lover and Friend

Dear Cat Lover: There are many credible reports showing that allowing a cat to roam outdoors significantly shortens its lifespan, and that indoor cats live much longer.

This is from the ASPCA ( “ Please keep your cat indoors. Outdoor cats do not live as long as indoor cats. Outdoor cats are at risk of trauma from cars, or from fights with other cats, raccoons and free-roaming dogs. Coyotes are known to eat cats. Outdoor cats are more likely to become infested with fleas or ticks, as well as contract infectious diseases.”

Your friend is ignoring this commonsense advice, and her young cats are paying the price.

Tell her that you are hoping for the very best outcome and that you will do everything you can to help.

You don’t want her to feel worse than she currently does, but you can hope to encourage her to treat her animals differently.

Once there is some resolution to this, I do think you should tell her that you find it upsetting that she allows her cats to freely roam outside, given the many risks they face.

And yes, depending on how she responds to you and her animals, this would be a tough thing to get beyond.

Dear Amy: My husband and I have an adult daughter who currently lives at home.

She has been dating “Tony” ever since they met in college. They’ve been together for almost six years and frankly, we all just love him.

We’ve welcomed Tony into our family with open arms, spending many holidays and weeks in the summer together. He and my husband have developed a really nice, close relationship.

Tony and our daughter seem like a really great couple and have been talking about moving in together. We’re honestly thrilled.

Two weeks ago, Tony lowered the boom. He had cheated on our daughter. He begged for her forgiveness. After a dramatic few days, she agreed to stay with him, and then he broke up with her!

Honestly, I feel quite heartbroken. I feel deceived by his dishonesty and I’m so incredibly disappointed in his lack of integrity.

I’m having a hard time reining in my emotions. When I expressed some of these feelings to our daughter, she got mad at me!

I’m considering contacting Tony to give him a piece of my mind. Should I?

And how should I react to this at home?

– Upset and Furious

Dear Upset: You should react to this by behaving like those wise mothers in the movies and keeping your feelings – and your thoughts – to yourself.

Your daughter’s emotional bandwidth is stretched thin. Your honest reaction might cause her to actually feel defensive about “Tony.”

You should concentrate on your daughter and react only to her. If she wants comfort, give her that. If she wants to vent, let her do that without piling on. Assure her that she can recover from this, and that you and her dad are forever in her corner, no matter what.

Dear Amy: I didn’t really appreciate your feminist snide remarks in your response to “Upset Dad”: “Your reward is that you get to tell the kids that they are going to finish out their scheduled school week before going on vacation.”

Real mature!

– No Longer Reading

Dear No Longer: This dad had offered his kids two extra days of vacation without running the idea past his wife. I suggested that he needed to take responsibility for his poor parenting by undoing his unilateral choice.

I’ll be adding “Snide Feminist” to my T-shirt collection. Thank you!